JJ Rhatigan & Company are delighted to have successfully completed the construction of Structure 8 at the new DIT campus at Grangegorman in Dublin’s north inner city. All of the existing DIT sites, currently spread throughout Dublin city will be moving to this brand new campus on the site of the old St. Brendan’s Mental Hospital. The new campus is the largest investment in 3rd level education in the history of the state, and the first students arrived in September 2014.
JJ Rhatigan & Company were awarded the contract for Structure 08, the Top House, comprising of a total floor area of approximately 5000m². The project included extensive structural alterations, conservation and refurbishment works, a new glazed entrance and general upgrade of the protected structures.
The works consisted of internal alteration, which entailed the removal of existing partitions, the provision of new internal partitions, the replacement of ceilings, the upgrade of corridors, stairs and floors to improve the fire performance of the structures, the provision of new doors and screens, the provision of new floor finishes and refurbishment of existing floor boards, the provision of new mechanical and electrical services, the provision of new toilet facilities, the refurbishment of existing windows, structural repairs to existing roof joists and replacement of leaking valleys within the roof.
The building structure consisted of 150 year old cast iron beams. Load testing was carried out on the beams to confirm their load capacity as the Top House building will be converted into the main DIT library within the next 5 years. These exposed and riveted cast iron beams were fire-proofed by a specialist sub-contractor as it was a requirement they remained exposed as an original feature.
The Top House building was on the verge of becoming delapedated when JJ Rhatigan & Company began works; 80% of the building had remained unoccupied for the previous 20 years, this led to water ingress and high levels of moisture within the building due to lack of ventilation over time. Moisture monitoring stations were set up in various locations throughout the building, moisture readings of the building fabric were scheduled and reported on before and during the construction period. Due to the age and complexity of the building fabric, environmental consultants have concluded the building will continue to dry out over the next 2 years. In order to progress the drying out process and aid the long-term egress of moisture from the structure the gable ends of the building were re-pointed with a lime based mixture.
The new glazed entrance to the Top House will become the new feature entrance of the DIT Library in the future. This is a highly engineered structure which incorporates over 16 tonnes of bead blasted 20mm plate stainless steel and 16mm toughened laminated glass. The complexities of the design originated from the brief which required the glazing to be on the inside of the structure as opposed to typically being on the outside.
Works were completed in the Summer of 2014, within budget and on time for the transfer of the Arts faculty in September 2014.